Muse

Craig Raine

Luck    To have lived
at the level of floorboards
and not to give    a toss

about Antaeus
or any of that

Only    the pleasing precision
of solid dirt
inlaying the planks

like a long leather bootlace

or finding    the perfect fit
of thumb to the palate

Carefully torn
wallpaper    sufficient
unto the hour

A mouth
I taste    everything
because I have    no taste

It is enough    this ignorance
these particulars
I kiss

The nails
surrender a patient light
underlings

their living daylights
a kind of dusk
or sunk    out of sight

like that blackhead    I prize
beside your eyebrow
deep    as your pierced ear

that tag on your neck
like a Coco Pop    scratchy

the white appendix scar
its warp    in the weft
like perished elastic

the linked Assyrian mail
the lair on your private parts

I am too deep in detail
too deep    to divine
your identity

Urania
Clio
Calliope

or catch all that stuff
you keep singing    about sunsets

Listen    Just listen

Like Santa Claus
the milkman leaves a xylophone
he walks    down the gravel drive

listen    just listen
like someone eating

eating
sugared almonds